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Ricky’s preview and picks for this week’s ATP events in Auckland and Adelaide

The Australian Open is just one week away, so most of the top players in the world have made their way from the United Cup, Adelaide, or Pune to Melbourne. Still, there are two more tournaments on the appetizer menu and plenty of intriguing action to take place in Adelaide and Auckland. Among the participants in action this week are Casper Ruud, Cameron Norrie, and Andrey Rublev.

ASB Classic 

Where: Auckland, New Zealand  
Prize money: $546,355 
Top seed: Casper Ruud 
Defending champion: Ugo Humbert 

For the first time since the pandemic hit in 2020, Auckland is back on the schedule. Ruud is the top seed and John Isner is a two-time champion, and they are on a collision course for the quarterfinals. Elsewhere in the top half of the draw, two seeds are already gone; Francisco Cerundolo withdrew and Alexander Bublik lost to David Goffin in round one. The path is now open for Goffin, Richard Gasquet, or 2020 winner Ugo Humbert to reach the semis. 

At the bottom of the bracket, Americans Jenson Brooksby, J.J. Wolf, and Ben Shelton all have a good chance to make some noise. Norrie, however, will have other ideas. The TCU product played extremely well at the United Cup and should be able to keep his momentum rolling right into the Australian Open. 

Semifinal picks: David Goffin over John Isner and Cameron Norrie over Jenson Brooksby 

Final: Norrie over Goffin 

Adelaide International 

Where: Adelaide, Australia 
Prize money: $642,735 
Top seed: Andrey Rublev 
Defending champion: Thanasi Kokkinakis 

Rublev has never had any concerns about playing too much, so it’s no surprise that he signed up for this tournament – especially after losing right away last week to Roberto Bautista Agut. The top seed will have to be on top of his game from the start, because defending champion Thanasi Kokkinakis is first up for him on the heels of an opening bye. Rublev could also face Miomir Kecmanovic in the quarterfinals and Bautista Agut in the semis. 

It is the unseeded contingent that looks particularly strong on the bottom half of the bracket. Among the dangerous floaters are Jack Draper, Emil Ruusuvuori, Mikael Ymer, Marc-Andrea Huesler, and Arthur Rinderknech. A potential second-round showdown between Draper and Tommy Paul would be especially intriguing. 

Semifinal picks: Andrey Rublev over Benjamin Bonzi and Jack Draper over Pablo Carreno Busta 

Final: Rublev over Draper 

Ricky contributes to 10sballs.com and also maintains his own tennis website, The Grandstand. You can follow him on Twitter at @Dimonator.